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MAC's Mark Smith puts lockdown training to good use to complete virtual Hampshire Hoppit Marathon

Mark Smith (centre).

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Maidenhead Athletic Club (MAC) member and South Africa Masters Champion race walker Jurgen Spencer took part in a Soltice 5k event on Saturday, completing his challenge in an impressive 32.51. The route he chose on the Hindhay Quarry has been closed to traffic since lockdown.

Running has helped MAC’s Mark Smith handle the ups and downs of lockdown, and he put the training to good use by completing a virtual Hampshire Hoppit Marathon on Sunday.

Replicating the terrain and elevation of the original race, Mark ran the majority of the Berkshire loop of the Chiltern Way path which took him through Penn, Wooburn, Cookham and Burchetts Green.

With friends Jono and Steve setting a steady pace Mark completed the marathon in 3.59.10, only his second sub four hour finish, especially satisfying given the warm temperature and 600 metres of climbing.

He said he credited his improvement to joining MAC last year and the support he’s received taking part in various events. His entry into the real Hoppit has been deferred until next year where he will see if he can better this year’s time.

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MAC member and South Africa Masters Champion race walker Jurgen Spencer took part in a Soltice 5k event on Saturday, completing his challenge in an impressive 32.51.

The route he chose on the Hindhay Quarry has been closed to traffic since lockdown.

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